Anti gay protest (from "The Connection")

POLICE used tear gas to prevent anti-gay marriage protestors demonstrating on the Champs-Elysées, as tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital yesterday ahead of next month's Senate vote on the bill.

The demonstrators lined a 5km route from the La Défense to the Arc de Triomphe. Police authorities had banned marching on the Champs-Elysées on public order grounds, but an estimated 200 protestors tried to ignore the ban.

They clashed with CRS riot police at a road block at the top of the avenue at about 16.00 on Sunday. A police spokesman said there were no reported injuries.

Christian Democrat politician Christine Boutin is reported to have been one of the protestors sprayed with tear gas. She told BFMTV: "Children were sprayed by police. We were all peaceful - the way police treated us was unacceptable."

Right-wing politicians, including former minister Laurent Wauqiez, were among those criticising the police actions.

Protestors want the bill, legalising same-sex marriage and adoption, to be put to a public referendum. It has already been passed by the National Assembly and will be debated by senators from April 2.

Why would children be protesting there, anyway? Brainwashing by parents?

yep, storm in a teacup because the vaste silent majority is in favour of gay marriage!

Johnny, I think we are saying more or less the same by other means and hope it is the same as we that the majority feel. As you say, 'they' will just have to get over it they way they have with PACS.

The whole thing is getting out of hand, a sign of our times. I have a gay brother-in-law living openly with his partner, they have been together a long time. His, as naturally my OH's, uncle is an emeritus bishop who lives a few hundred metres away. They live in a profoundly Catholic Swiss canton. Bro-in-law and uncle get on perfectly well, one is used to the other's way of life. Don Ernesto (the Bishop), it is said, once said it was a pity the couple could not marry.

Yesterday, for fun, we watched the first of the three 'La Cage aux Folles' films. Our younger daughter, a few months off 10, said how much like the uncles they were. Renato and Albin in the films are not actually at all like them, at least neither is like Albin. However, the point was made and taken. She has had a lot of explanation about our family, those two and her Algerian Islamic uncle of whom she is very fond, and he of her, the bishop and people living half way up mountains. The gay couple have become part of her reality because we went through in detail some time ago. She is equally allowed to not like what she has heard since we inform not brainwash. The decision is hers.

The people who take their children on those protests might do that from their stance but my gut feeling is they do not. Brainwashing, perhaps not, but precise information and knowledge also not. Their prejudices prevent them doing so objectively. So what on earth were children doing there. From what we saw on news the police were excessive, but then the protesters also looked like they had a few knuckleheads in their midst who wanted to mix with the authorities. The two hundred who went beyond where they were permitted share responsibility unfortunately.

Tens of thousands marching is small beer, a protest counts when it is in hundreds of thousands. Many of those same people also want secularism ended and education put back in education, mind you Catholic and no other sects, plus no other religions. Some of them also want monarchy restored. Their political position is an extreme and gets the same reception as the far left, so it is not a prejudice either way on that basis. This though, is about the private lives of people who are 'other'. My reaction to that is that I had hoped we had all grown out of such prejudices and tolerance was the hallmark of the advance of civilisation. The demonstrators and police together let that principle down.